COVID-19 Resources

The Instructional Technology Council (ITC) would like to thank all of the individuals from our member colleges for sharing resources for this page. 

Darci Duran, Director, Instructional Design, Colorado Community Colleges Online 

How to Continue Instruction When You Cannot Meet in Person

D2L has invested in a partnership with Aira to enable learners with vision impairments using Brightspace 24x7 access to accessibility help. Learners can make a free video call to Aira from their smart phone using the Aira app. Agents at their call center describe what’s seen via the phone’s video camera, or log into Brightspace if required. For Brightspace users, there is no limit to call duration for discussing issues they are having with accessing Brightspace.

Here are the steps for getting the free Aira app on your phone:
1. Submit your phone number at
2. Receive a download link on the phone.
3. Install the app.
4. On the app’s Home screen, select “Apply a Free Access Offer”.
5. Select “Products”.
6. Select D2L – Brightspace

Aira is an assistive technology designed to help users with vision loss get information about the visual world around them through their smart phone. D2L is using that tool to help learners. For example, a blind student who cannot understand an infographic because there is no text description with it can call Aira and get the infographic described by the agent. Aira’s services are typically priced like a local phone call. Aira currently operates (USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).


Dawn Kolakoski, Director of Online Instruction, Northern Virginia Community College

This is actually not a NVCC resource, but was recommended by our VP for Student Services:

By this week, many colleges and universities across the United States have switched to online, or distance, learning for their students. As campuses adapt to the many changes that COVID-19 has affected on daily life, we recognize that, perhaps more than ever, faculty serve an essential role in protecting your students' mental health.

As we respond together to this situation, we would like to invite you and your school's faculty to join us on Wednesday, April 1 from 2:00PM to 3:30PM EDT for a webinar on how they can support students in managing the stress and anxiety that has resulted in shifting instruction from the classroom to the online space.

JED's Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Sofia B. Pertuz, Ph.D. will moderate a panel of experts sharing tips on how college and university faculty can provide support for their students during distance learning, while keeping in mind the needs of particularly vulnerable student populations.

If you cannot join us for the live webinar, please feel free to still register, as the webinar will be recorded and shared with registrants following the presentation.
If you have any other questions, please reach out Kyle Sebastian (JED Higher Education Programming Coordinator) for additional information.

Yours in health,
The JED Team
Registration link:

Webinar is free and geared towards online faculty.


Shelley Kurland, Dean, Virtual Campus, County College of Morris

Virtual Learning Resources:

Remote Teaching Options (designed more specifically for our institution):


Heather Mayer, Director of Educational Technology, Everett Community College - Canvas Basics for Faculty


Beth Ritter-Guth, Associate Dean of Online Learning & Ed Tech, Northampton Community College - Coronavirus Information & Resources


Natalie Salzberg, Customer Events Manager, SoftChalk - Free access to SoftChalk Cloud now through May 31 to anyone who may need it to quickly and easily create online lessons and course materials for delivery to students.


Bellevue University - Take 10 Timeline Tips: Series of short (10-minute) webinars


California Community College - California Virtual Campus - Online Education Initiative Resources


Quality Matters - Emergency Remote Instruction (ERI) Checklist


VitalSource - access to their e-texts

Fred Lokken, Chair, Department of Business, Political Science & History; Professor, Political Science, Business & Social Sciences Division

Faculty Standards for Online Instruction

TMCC Coordinated Planning Efforts Timeline.pdf

TMCC Template - Coordinated Action Plan.pdf

TMCC Reopening Guidelines.pdf


BC Campus - Virtual Labs and Sciences Resources


Arthur Lakes Library - Colorado School of Mines - Open Educational Resources: Simulations and Virtual Labs

Online Versus Remote Instruction

It is important to note the difference between online learning, and emergency remote teaching. While it is convenient to connect and compare the two, the truth is that many instructors making the rapid transition to remote teaching will not have the time to take full advantage of quality standards and other design considerations that go into creating an online course.

Online instruction has been studied for decades. Many research studies, theories, models, standards, and evaluation criteria focus on quality online learning, online teaching, and online course design. What we know from research is that effective online learning results from careful instructional design and planning, using a systematic model for design and development. The design process and the careful consideration of different design decisions have an impact on the quality of the instruction. And it is this careful design process that will be absent in most cases in these emergency shifts.

In contrast to experiences that are designed to be online, remote instruction is a temporary shift of instructional delivery mode due to emergency circumstances. It involves the use of fully remote teaching solutions for instruction or education that would otherwise be delivered face-to-face or as blended or hybrid courses and that will return to that format once the emergency has subsided. The primary objective in these circumstances is not to re-create a robust educational ecosystem, as is done with online instruction, but rather to provide temporary access to instruction in a manner that is quick to set up and is reliably available during an emergency.

Resource: The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning.


US Department of Education - In response to inquiries received by the Department, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is pleased to release additional COVID-19-related technical assistance for institutions of higher education. The technical assistance document, Questions and Answers for Postsecondary Institutions Regarding the COVID-19 National Emergency, provides information related to schools’ obligations under Section 504/Title II, Title VI, and Title IX in light of COVID-19. 

OCR wants to ensure that schools have the tools and resources necessary to both meet the requirements of federal civil rights laws and support students and school staff, consistent with health and safety needs. 

Please send questions and requests for technical assistance to OCR’s Center for Outreach, Prevention, Education, and Non-discrimination (OPEN Center) at

Related resources: